Rethinking Mechanical Automata in Early Modern Europe

Rethinking Mechanical Automata in Early Modern Europe Stefano GULIZIA This collection of essays addresses the questions of whether, and how, automata and artificial instruments were able to articulate key issues of their period, particularly ideas about social hierarchy, economics, and philosophy of technology. The purpose of this short introduction is not to exhaust the relevance […]

Read More

Reformation England and the Performance of Wonder: Automata Technology and the Transfer of Power from Church to State

Reformation England and the Performance of Wonder: Automata Technology and the Transfer of Power from Church to State Lily FILSON Abstract. When Henry VIII split England from the Church of Rome, a dramatic aspect of the broad campaign of reform and iconoclasm was the exposure of fraudulent religious imagery, revealing to the public that the […]

Read More

Living Machines in the Early Stuart Court

Living Machines in the Early Stuart Court Vera KELLER* Abstract. This short paper is in response to Lily Filson‟s essay in this collection. It engages with the insertion of automata into a higher environmental sphere, with a distinct view on their embodiment and „macrocosmic‟ features. Such an approach emphasizes the relation between pneumatic technology and […]

Read More

Christiaan Huygens’s Cosmotheoros: Anthropological Theology and the Mechanization of Nature

Christiaan Huygens’s Cosmotheoros: Anthropological Theology and the Mechanization of Nature Miguel PALOMO   Abstract. While it is known that a mechanized universe was adopted among scientists and philosophers during the seventeenth century and that it provided a new understanding of nature, we can see that for many scientists the universe was not entirely empirical. Rather, […]

Read More

Talismans as Automata. Hebrew Philology and the Mechanisation of Nature in Jacques Gaffarel’s Curiositez

Talismans as Automata. Hebrew Philology and the Mechanisation of Nature in Jacques Gaffarel’s Curiositez Vittoria FEOLA   Abstract. This essay aims to contribute to our reflections about automata in the early modern worlds by demonstrating that, first, a debate took place in seventeenth-century France about the nature of talismans, as to whether they should be […]

Read More

An Ink–and–Paper Automaton: The Conceptual Mechanization of Cognition and the Practical Automation of Reasoning in Leibniz’s De Affectibus (1679)

An Ink–and–Paper Automaton: The Conceptual Mechanization of Cognition and the Practical Automation of Reasoning in Leibniz’s De Affectibus (1679) Simon DUMAS PRIMBAULT*   Abstract. On ten loose handwritten folios dating back from April 1679, Leibniz gradually devised, in the course of three days, a full-blown theory of thought that nonetheless remained unpublished and still has […]

Read More